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John Wathan
Kansas City Royals
Catcher
Born: October 4, 1949 (1949-10-04) (age 60)
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
May 26, 1976 for the Kansas City Royals
Last MLB appearance
October 6, 1985 for the Kansas City Royals
Career statistics
Batting average     .262
Stolen bases     105
Runs     305
Teams
Career highlights and awards

John David Wathan (pronounced /ˈwɑːθən/; born October 4, 1949 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa) is a former Major League Baseball catcher and manager for the Kansas City Royals. He was considered one of the rare catchers with speed, having 105 stolen bases during his career, including 36 in 1982 which broke the single-season record for catchers set by Ray Schalk in 1916 even after missing four weeks with a broken ankle earlier in the season. In 2006-07, Wathan was a roving baserunning and bunting instructor in Kansas City's farm system and in 2008 he served the Royals as a special assistant to the director of player development.

Wathan — nicknamed "Duke" for his dead-on impersonations of John Wayne — was drafted in the first round, fourth overall in the 1971 MLB Draft from the University of San Diego. Wathan played ten seasons with the Royals from 1976 to 1985 where he played in 860 games, averaging a career .261 batting average with 21 home runs and 261 RBIs. Wathan has his best season in 1980 in which he played in 126 games, and had a .305 batting average.

After he retired, Wathan became the manager for Kansas City's AAA Omaha Royals farm club and he was promoted manager for the big-league Royals on August 28, 1987. He managed five seasons in Kansas City, having two winning seasons in 1988 and 1989 and finishing second in the American League Western Division both times. He was fired early in the 1991 season after a 15-22 start.

In 1992, Wathan began the season as the third-base coach of the California Angels, but he was named acting manager midway through the campaign when Buck Rodgers was badly hurt in a bus accident and took a medical leave of absence. Wathan led the Angels to a 39-50 record until Rodgers was well enough to return. He spent 1994 as a Boston Red Sox coach, and has worked as a scout and minor league instructor for a number of organizations since.

His son, Derek Wathan is currently playing in Minor League Baseball for the Omaha Royals. His other son Dusty Wathan is a retired cather who now manages the single A minor league team of the Philadelphia Phillies, the Lakewood Blueclaws.

External links

Preceded by
Billy Gardner
Kansas City Royals Manager
1987–1991
Succeeded by
Bob Schaefer
Preceded by
Buck Rodgers
California Angels Manager
1992
Succeeded by
Marcel Lachemann
Preceded by
Marcel Lachemann
California Angels Interim Manager
1992 three games
Succeeded by
Buck Rodgers
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